I’m curious. When your son or daughter does something wrong, does pointing out and criticizing that activity mean you HATE them?

Because that’s what I get out of this attitude I’m seeing amongst people who claim that civil rights protesters “Hate America”. The “love it or leave it” crowd.

I’ve yet to see anything that indicates they hate the United States.

The desire to correct bad behavior does not equal hate. It is, in fact, love.

Whether they are football players kneeling, or children marching, what these citizens of the United States are trying to point out and correct that bad behavior. There’s no hate in that. In fact, it is love.

Not caring enough to try to correct that behavior would be hate, or at best, apathy.

Henry David Thoreau said; “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”

This country was founded in revolution, revolution stemming from protests. The Boston Tea Party, the Annapolis Tea Party, other events of their like, all leading to the shot heard round the world at Saratoga and Concord and ultimately, the creation of a nation at Yorktown. Actions taken not from hate, but from love. Love of liberty.  Imperfect love, yes, but love nonetheless.

The founders of the United States were men after all, and flawed, some of them deeply so. One of those men, Thomas Jefferson, a man who held other men, women, and children in the bondage of slavery said; “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” While his actions in life do not match to his words, that does not make the words wrong.

The difference between a patriot and a nationalist is that the patriot is the parent of their country, the nationalist is the child. The parent takes responsibility or their child’s behavior and, if it behaves badly, attempts to correct it.  The child, on the other hand, reveres and admires the parent, who in its eyes can do no wrong.

As a citizen, you have to decide if you are a child of the United States, in which case, you’re just a nationalist and not a patriot. Or are you a parent, nurturing, and trying to help this country grow into a mature and responsible world citizen.

Are you one of the Thousand Points of Light seeking the Shining City on the Hill?

Or are you simply another flag waving parasite?

As such, those who equate protest activity with hate…I have to wonder how you raised your kids.